I guess I'm ready to write about games again. I got this screen cap in my inbox this past weekend. I'm actually having a hard time expressing any shred of thought about said image, other than a muted chuckle. Okay, that and mild shame for finding it hilarious.
I've stated this before, but faux-outrage has never been my strongest suit. I'm sure there are some NCAA Football superfans out there, that will love waving their player-of-choice's hair -- to and fro [pun tragically intended].
I guess I'm writing about this, because I'm not outraged or enveloped with emotions of any extreme. In a way, I kinda feel bad for the programming team that had to get the 'dreadlocked hair' physics engine to an optimal level. Hopefully, an equal amount of time was spent making the game, you know, enjoyable.
This coming on the heels of an awkward 'win' in California which deemed the sale of mature-rated games to minors to be 'totally legal bro'. I think it was Joystiq's Justin McElroy that tweeted something to the effect of, 'games proving themselves of being worthy of such a ruling'.
An apt statement considering that a small section of our gaming culture has been adamant on proving games' artistic merits, for quite a long time now. Sometimes, admittedly, the best of games are proven in a very pretentious fashion [See also: Braid].
Producing 'mature' games that are also M-rated would be a big boon for the culture. It's a genuine concern to have, just not one that bothers me anymore. The argument of art growing organically as it relates to its environment comes to mind.
Games are becoming more and more expensive, even the indie game scene needs help from a corporate fund to get mass appeal [See also: Braid]. What bother's me is the T-rated and E-rated games that are deemed fit for everyone.
There is something a little icky about this new feature in NCAA Football '12. A game, I'm sure, many of you have no intentions on playing. Is it the subversive [racist?] commentary pandering to a cultural demographic? Is it that out of many games in the industry, sports games are one of the few that prominantly feature minorities, but only as athletes?
Probably. But for me it's something a bit sadder.
How many of us looked at this image, laughed, then promptly moved on about our daily lives? Yeah. That's were the real juice is. The unfortunate revelation that this is so expected from games. "Par for the course." A saying that easily creeps into your mind when seeing anything mildly 'off' in advertising of any kind. [Gaming is an example]
I have another confession to make. I'm actually interested in playing NCAA Football '12 now. In a way, the advertising worked. I don't normally play sports games unless they are wild, virtual dysmorphic portrayals of the sport they're mimicking [See also: Braid...wait no, Hot Shots Golf].
Maybe that was the goal all along? Get the fans to plop down cash for their annual pre-order. Get the fringe to be put-off, make snarky blog posts and play the game just to make more soapbox statements.
Or maybe I really needed to play a character with the 'dreadlocks hair option'?